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Nia Griffith MP has asked the Home Secretary what is being done about the National Crime Agency’s list of 20,000 people who have accessed child abuse on the internet, of whom only 700 have been prosecuted.

Questioning the Home Secretary during a statement in the House of Commons this week on the proposed Child Abuse Inquiry, the Llanelli MP asked:

“ The Home Secretary has stressed the importance of current protection for children. In the appalling case of the deputy head teacher from Cardiffwho was jailed in May this year for having secretly filmed children in toilets, it turns out that theNational Crime Agency, did not pass on details about this man to the South Wales police for a whole 19 months. The NCA has information about 20,000 individuals who have accessed child abuse on the internet and only 700 of those have been prosecuted. What will she do to ensure that progress is made in dealing with this issue so that children can be better protected?”

In her response, the Home Secretary, Theresa May MP said

“…. Under the National Crime Agency more people who are looking at child abuse images are having action taken against them. In the past year more than 1,000 people have had action taken against them, and Operation Notarise has led to the investigation of over 700 individuals. So the National Crime Agency is working. It is ensuring that every case that comes to it is looked at and considered, and that appropriate action is taken. It prioritises those that are of the greatest potential harm to children.”

Commenting on the Home Secretary’s reply, Nia said

“I am pleased to hear that priority is being given to looking at those individuals who are the most likely to harm children, but nevertheless I remain concerned about the length of time that can elapse before details are passed on to the local police, as we saw in the Cardiff case. Every effort needs to be made to cut down these delays to stop children being put at risk.”